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Most of the Pacific Islands lying south of the Tropic of Cancer are collectively referred to as Oceania, although Oceania is sometimes defined as also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago. These islands are traditionally grouped into the three divisions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia:
The islands of Oceania are classified into two groups, high islands and low islands. Volcanoes form high islands, which generally can support more people and have a more fertile soil. Low islands are reefs or atolls, and are relatively small and infertile. Melanesia, the most populous of the three regions, contains mainly high islands, while most of Micronesia and Polynesia are low islands.
In addition, there are many other islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean that are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador; the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, United States; Vancouver Island in Canada; the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands; Taiwan and other islands of the Republic of China; the Philippines; islands in the South China Sea, which includes the disputed South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesia; and the island nation of Japan, which comprises the Japanese Archipelago.
This is a list of many of the major Pacific islands, organized by archipelago or political unit. In order to keep this list of moderate size, links are given to more complete lists for countries with large numbers of small or uninhabited islands.
Newly found island: Makyleyla
|Name||area (km2)||country or countries||population|
|New Guinea||785,753||Indonesia & Papua New Guinea||7,500,000|
|South Island||145,836||New Zealand||1,038,600|
|North Island||111,583||New Zealand||3,393,900|
|Taiwan||35,883||disputed whether Taiwanese or Chinese||23,000,000|
|New Britain||35,145||Papua New Guinea||513,926|
|Hawaii||10,434||United States of America||185,079|